This is the extended version of Oscar Bug. The poem and the story behind it really seemed to resonate with people. I felt there was a lot more to the concept and the message behind it, so I decided to convert it into a children's picture book. It is a very special story to me, and I would like to dedicate it to my preteen self, my wonderful nephew Theo and everyone else who ever felt different.
I once had a little friend; I called him Oscar Bug,
He was very small indeed, too small for me to hug.
He couldn't talk or play and I'd never take him fishin,
But I could always count on him; I knew he'd always listen.
He perched himself contently, atop my bedside window,
And he'd listen to me for hours, as I lay there on my pillow.
He never interrupted or smirked if I would cry,
If you wonder why I'm friends with bugs, he's the reason why.
Although we are quite different, we both sure love to dance,
That’s how I first spotted him, swaying among the plants.
We play our favourite music, to get into the groove,
And when the beat gets going, boy he can really move.
He loved to run amok, along my windowsill,
Until one sad, sad day, he sat there cold and still.
I still talk to him sometimes, when I'm feeling blue,
When no one else will listen, a dead bug will have to do.
I would talk to my brother, if we had an ounce in common,
But because I don’t like sports, he groans “MY GOSH! ARE YOU A WOMAN!”
I would talk to my sister, but she’s always on her phone,
She doesn’t seem to notice that I’m always on my own.
I would talk to my mother, if she weren’t so very busy,
On top of working, cooking, cleaning, I’d only make her dizzy.
I would talk to my father, but it would only disappoint him,
To learn my love of dance, is why I’m quitting gym.
I would still talk to Oscar, but it’s time to say farewell,
He’s dancing in the clouds now, what remains is just a shell.
I have to put him back now, in the garden where he was found,
But he will always be with me, even when he’s in the ground.
As I say my last goodbyes, suddenly a shadow appears from behind,
I turned and there my father stood, pleading “Son what’s on your mind?”
Before I could smile, and say “I’m fine” the tears came spilling out,
Until he wrapped me in his arms and asked “Buddy what’s this all about?”
That’s when I knew that it was time, to let go of all I held inside,
He wasn’t mad; he even smiled, and said “Buddy you don’t have to hide.”
“If you want to dance then dance”,
“If that’s what you love, be brave and take a chance.”
Somehow these words banished all my fears,
They vanished and were replaced with happy tears.
Now that I’m free to just be me, I finally feel like I belong,
There’s nobody else I wish to be, my family loved me all along.